Green Country Teens Gather To Fight Drunk Driving

Monday, April 7th 2014, 11:04 pm
By: News On 6

An emotional town hall meeting was held on Monday, with the focus on fighting underage drinking. But it wasn't all police officers and parents doing the talking, it also involved teenagers themselves.

The discussion focused around drunk driving, parental control and tighter enforcement. But the message was sent by local teenagers, as part of the Skills USA program at Tulsa Tech.

Students spent the last few months doing their own type of investigations on the topic, and personal experiences were a motivator for some.

"It's killed both my grandparents, gonna kill my dad, probably. Gonna kill my other grandparents. And it almost killed me," said high school junior Sam Scales.

Scales is only 17, but she has quite a story, and a reason for being part of this group.

"I was in the car when my dad was drunk and he was yelling at my mom and he swerved and there's another car right there, with me and my little brother," said Scales.

Call that motivation for her and her fellow students with Skills USA, who presented their findings Monday evening, after months of working with local police to try and curb underage drinking.

"Every day I come to class and get to see my friends and get to really help, like, this is not just not just this project. This is other stuff that we do that connects with the community and that's something I really love to do.," Scales said.

They did ride-alongs with police and, with officers watching, they tried to buy alcohol. They found that 86 percent of Tulsa County businesses operate by the book.

"It's really nerve-wracking and nervous, because what's gonna happen? You don't know if this person's some mean guy whenever you're buying this alcohol, and, it's kind of different," said student Lindsey Wilson.

At 17 and 18 years old, these teenagers are beyond their years, as they try to do everything they can to keep their peers from making bad decisions.

"You have to have a passion to solve real live issues. And what better way to do that while they're learning to solve issues, to give them some training, to build and conduct these checks when they're out in industry, when they're sheriff's deputies and police officers," said Richard Steward with Skills USA.

The event was put on thanks to a small federal grant won by the Tulsa Health Department. These students will also be taking part in a nationwide underage drinking crackdown next week.